Created in 1972, the year of the artist’s traveling retrospective, the powerful geometry of R72-35 exemplifies Jan Schoonhoven’s commitment to an egalitarian order. Responding to the devastation wrought by the second world war, Schoonhoven committed himself to a structured order, evident in the strict lines of R72-35; in the title sequence, the ‘R’ stands for relief, while the subsequent digits mark the year and the series’ number. In the gridded papier-mâché relief, colour and form exist in equilibrium, Schoonhoven was affiliated with the influential ZERO group, where he worked closely with Heinz Mack, Günter Uecker and Otto Piene, among others. In the spirit of ZERO, Schoonhoven endeavoured to produce a new visual dynamism which can be seen in the fluctuating play shadows that flicker across the lit recesses of R72-35: ‘Within the strict limitations which he has placed upon himself, Schoonhoven has grown to be a formidable master. His oeuvre echoes various movements in contemporary art - abstract expressionism, minimal art, fundamental art, "neo-expressionism" - without ever losing any of its own identity’ (J. Wesseling, Schoonhoven. Visual artist, The Hague 1990, p. 8.).